Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"The Long Road to Boston" - 6 City Championships down, with 6 to go!

Jose Marrero talks about the first 6 Cities he attended.

12/27/2014 by Jose Marrero




Hello again 60cards readers! With City Championships underway; we can focus on what decks have been performing the best, and which are the most popular. With my new job only needing me to work on weekdays; I am (thankfully) still able to attend events on most weekends. Thus, I’ve attended six City Championships so far. From recent tournament results, I've seen Donphan; Yveltal variants; and Virizion/Genesect decks being the three most successful decks.

In my last article I talked about five decks that could potentially rack up Championship points at your upcoming Cities; one of which was in fact Donphan. This article is going to discuss the City Championships I attended; the lists that I played for each; as well as explain my card choices and give you the results.


Table of contents

- Week 1

Day 1


Day 2


- Week 2

Day 1


Day 2

Night March/Leafeon

- Week 3

Day 1

Night March/Leafeon

Day 2

Night March/Leafeon


Week 1/Day 1

Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor 2nd place finish


Florida had its first City Championship of the season on the sixth of December. This was our first opportunity to see what decks people would be playing; to see perhaps, if they had adopted similar themes from other areas of the country (which had already hosted events). Harrison Leven and I debated on which City to go to, since Florida had two events running on the same day. Ultimately, we chose Cocoa over Maitland, because we knew it would have a smaller turnout, and made a conscious effort to split events with the Lopez twins.

In testing for this event, I started with decks that had decent all around matchups. My two choices were Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor and Night March. I quickly scrapped Night March, because it didn’t fulfill that criteria, with an auto-loss to Pyroar, and its inherent issues against Quaking punch. I chose to go with the Yveltal deck because I felt that it was the safest option since it really can just beat anything, whilst maintaining a good Donphan matchup if approached correctly. After deciding on my deck choice, Harrison and I took the forty-five minute drive to Cocoa FL, where we started talking decks (in case we had missed something). Harrison was pretty much set on playing a Flareon/Leafeon/Cofagrigus deck designed by Grafton Roll, and I was obviously set on Yveltal.

Going into this event I expected a lot of Donphan, and boy was I right. Half of the field ended up being Donphan! We had a total of sixteen masters, which doesn't seem all that impressive; but that's because most of the Florida players were at Maitland where there were sixty-five or so masters. Don't get me wrong, we still had a good amount of competition for as many players as we had. Though the turnout was low; it yielded a high concentration of notable players, some of which are considered among the best in Florida; Chris Bianchi and Omar Izaguirre to name but two that turned up.

The announcement is made, and we are notified that we have a total of 5 rounds with a top 4 cut. We missed the Top 8 cut by five people. That means you needed a 3-1-1 (or better) record to make the cut. Round one pairings go up and sure enough, I'm facing the one and only Chris Bianchi. Chris is playing Donphan. Right off the bat I knew this event was no cake walk; Chris ends up winning a close match and I start off 0-1-0. I knew I needed to basically win out if I wanted to make the cut. Sure enough, I end up 4-1-0 and first seed going into cut. I was surprised, but delighted to have done so since its rare to do so with a loss in the first round.

Harrison also made the cut as second seed, and because of this, knew we wouldn't play each other until the finals. My top 4 game was against Chance Filiatre, playing Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor mirror. I end up winning the series 2-0 and am now up against Omar in the finals who had won a close three game series against Harrison. Omar and I also get to game three in which he opens with a single Phanpy accompanied by a Sigilyph.

I open Seismitoad-EX. He takes his turn and Ultra Balls for a Donphan and passes. If I can somehow rip the Double Colorless energy and Muscle Band, I can basically steal the game. I take my turn and Juniper into the DCE but miss Muscle Band. From there, I basically dead draw as he proceeds to run me over with a single Donphan. Close games, but congrats to Omar on winning the CC!

1. Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor

2. Flareon/Leafeon/Cofagrigus

3. Donphan

4. Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor

Week 1/Day 2

Manectric-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Drifblim Top 8 finish

After a great start to the City Championship season by finishing in second; Harrison and I got ready for the next one (Winter Park, FL). The car ride was spent discussing decks though I was pretty much set on just playing Yveltal again. If it ain’t broke, you know? Harrison brings up an interesting deck idea that he was certain he’d be playing that day. As we talk about the deck, Manectric-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Drifblim seemed to have all the tools I wanted in a deck: and felt it tackled the format well from many different angles. I begrudgingly opened the car door; convinced I’d be de-sleeving my Yveltal-EX’s, now on the hunt for basic lightning energy.

I end up going 4-1-1, barely squeaking in at 8th seed. Up against Jorge Feliciano, playing Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX; I was pretty excited to hear that I’d be playing what I perceived would be a good matchup. Little did I know; he also ran Head Ringers, which are the bane of my existence. He was able to hit double Head Ringer on the first turn and get Quaking Punch going before me in both games, and knocked me out of the cut. I learned the power of getting your Head Ringers down before your opponent; and that you shouldn’t take any matchup lightly!

1. Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Head Ringer

2. Donphan

3. Donphan

4. Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor

5. Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX

6. Donphan

7. Donphan

8. Manectric-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Drifblim

Week 2/Day 1


I was bummed about my top 8 loss the previous weekend but I didn't want it to affect my deck choice. Overall, I was pretty happy with the deck, and gave that exact same list another go. This event was held in Miami, FL. I make some plans and end up carpooling with some friends: Heidi Craig, Cory Goff, Safraz, and Wendy formed this weeks Entourage. We had 5 rounds and a cut of top 8.

After a win in round one; round two pairings go up and I see I'm up against Kyle Theaker who is also playing the same deck. The only difference was that I played Crushing Hammers while Kyle didn't. Long story short, Kyle ends up smashing me with an early Seismitoad-EX lock as I was unable to use Lasers or Head Ringers while he was. I end up losing the next couple of rounds, and decide to drop and help judge the rest of the tournament. It felt good to help give rulings instead of ask for them for a change; though, my sights were fixed firmly on the next day of competition.

Week 2/Day 2

Night March/Leafeon Top 8 finish

The next day we took the drive to Coral Springs, FL; where I ultimately decided to scrap Manectric and go with a deck I was craving to play. I had Night March built without Leafeon, but wanted to have a better answer to Seismitoad-EX. I've seen people run the deck with Flareon, so naturally I figured it’d be easy to substitute the two eveelutions. So I tweaked some cards and I finally came up with the list above. Going into this event I really didn't know what to expect (aside from Donphan). Round one pairings go up, and I’m up against Omar playing Donphan again. Omar dead draws early and the game doesn’t end up being close. 1-0-0.

I encounter Donphan twice in the next two rounds, and take another two convincing games. Then losing a really close fourth round to Justin Sanchez and ID’ing my last round. I end up 3-1-1; fourth seed, and up against Omar again. I had beaten Donphan 3 times in Swiss already and was feeling pretty confident. We take the series to game three where Omar barely manages to take the game and knock me out of the cut yet again. At this point I've lost in top 8 two times, which I wasn't very happy about. What can you do, but move on and (Night) march toward the next event.

1. Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Hammers

2. Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor

3. Quad Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor/Techs

4. Night March/Leafeon

5. Donphan

6. Donphan

7. Donphan

8. Manectric-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Drifblim

Week 3/Day 1

Night March/Leafeon

This event was held in East Orlando, FL; the venue was inside the Fashion Square Mall, right next to Coliseum of Comics. Of course I just decide to go with Night March again because I felt it was a good play and was quite happy with my run the previous weekend. Last weekend I went with 4 Bicycle and 2 VS Seeker, but this time I decide to change it up and go 3 Bike/3 VS Seeker. I wanted to have an extra virtual copy of Lysandre as they are extremely important in the Donphan matchup.

Round one pairings go up and I'm up against Chris Bianchi, who I faced at the first City in Cocoa. We both joke around about why we both keep getting paired up in the early rounds. Finally, we start our game and I open with my singleton Jirachi-EX. To make matters worse, I also open with no Supporter. Of course, he runs through me and I start off 0-1-0.

The next round starts and I'm up against Omar yet again. Only this time he's playing Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX. We both set up and I open lone Joltik going second. We both smile at each other and basically think the same thing: Is Omar going to get the turn-one? Omar proceeds to take his turn and Ultra Balls for Jirachi-EX, using Stellar Guidance for Professor Juniper.

He plays down a Hypnotoxic Laser and then slams the Juniper. Sure enough, he shows me the Virbank to get the turn-one KO on my poor Joltik. A second loss knocks me out of contention, but I play a few more rounds anyway. I win my third round play against Pyroar in the fourth. I anticipate a pretty bad matchup. which isn’t helped when I open lone Pumpkaboo playing first. I hit no other Pokemon and my opponent opens lone Litleo.

He Ultra Balls away two Fire Energy, attaches a DCE to Litleo and Blacksmiths, knocking out my lone Pumpkaboo for the game; which sort of summed up my day. I drop and proceed to judge. I was really sad about getting donked twice but was not about to give up on Night March. I could sense its massive potential. That same day I gave the list to Brad Curcio who ended up winning a CC in Texas. I told him to avenge me, and Pumkaboo; which he duly obliged. Good friend!

Week 3/Day 2

Night March/Leafeon Top 8 finish

This was the last City (until the week after Christmas) so I was hoping to make this one count. This event was held in Orlando, FL, where we had a whopping 80 masters. We had 7 rounds with a top cut of 8. I went with Night March again because my losses felt pretty illegitimate and I still had a ton of faith in the deck. Round one pairings go up and I see I'm up against Omar; YET AGAIN. This time he's not playing Donphan or Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX, he's playing Mewtwo-EX/Crobat. I manage to take the game pretty decisively as Omar prized two of his Crobats.

The next two rounds I take another two convincing games and I start the day off with a 3-0-0 record. Feeling like I'm unstoppable, I see my round four opponent which was Grafton Roll. He was playing his Flareon deck that he's been doing well with for some time now. We start the game and I see I have no supporter. Grafton ends up running through my quick turns as I dead draw the entire game. At this point I'm 3-1-0 and I know I need atleast two wins and a tie, or three wins to make the cut. My next two rounds I end up taking the games and eventually ID my last round hoping to make the cut.

I end the day going 5-1-1 and making 7th seed where I'm up against Daniel Lopez playing Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor. This matchup can go either way for Night March. Game one, Daniel sweeps me with a Quaking Punch, and in game two I dead draw midway into the game but I manage to get down to one prize. Daniel ends up having the back-to-back Lysandre play to steal the game and take me out of cut. At this point, I've now lost three times in Top 8 and I'm feeling down. But then I realize that we have six more CC’s left so I didn't sweat it. I'm hoping to replace those Top 8 finishes in these last 6 events.

1. Aromatisse/Florges-EX/Xerneas-EX

2. Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor

3. Flareon

4. Aromatisse/Techs

5. Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX

6. Aromatisse/Florges-EX/Xerneas-EX

7. Night March/Leafeon

8. Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Hammers



That's all I have for you guys at the moment. I wanted to show you guys how I did at the first six City Championships. I hope you enjoyed this article and I encourage you to play one of these lists at your next City Championship! Good luck to you whether you decide to play one of these lists or not. Please be sure to give a thumbs up if you enjoyed reading this article and as always; keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time.

-Jose Marrero


[+6] okko


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